Is the insatiable appetite of the WOKE progressive no longer content to gorge itself on all things conservative?
Because the Democratic 28th President of The United States is on today’s menu du jour.
Prince University announced today that Woodrow Wilson’s name will be removed from campus, as reported by CNN:
Princeton University will remove the name of President Woodrow Wilson from its school of public policy and a residential college, the school said in a statement Saturday.
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The Princeton University Board of Trustees voted Friday to rename the policy school the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, the statement says. The college formerly named for him will be known as “First College” in recognition of its “status as the first of the residential colleges that now play an essential role in the residential life of all Princeton undergraduates,” according to the statement.
“We have taken this extraordinary step because we believe that Wilson’s racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school whose scholars, students, and alumni must be firmly committed to combating the scourge of racism in all its forms,” the release says.
Wilson was the country’s 28th president from 1913 to 1921. He previously had been the president of Princeton and the governor of New Jersey.”
And here is a statement, directly from Princeton, to their community:
When I wrote to you on Monday morning, June 22, I noted that the Princeton University Board of Trustees was discussing how the University could oppose racism and would soon convene a special meeting on that topic. The meeting took place yesterday, June 26. On my recommendation, the board voted to change the names of both the School of Public and International Affairs and Wilson College. As you will see from the board’s statement, the trustees concluded that Woodrow Wilson’s racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school or college whose scholars, students, and alumni must stand firmly against racism in all its forms.
As most of you know, the board previously considered whether to remove Wilson’s name after a group of student activists occupied my office in November 2015. The Wilson Legacy Review Committee conducted a thorough, deliberative process. In April 2016, it recommended a number of reforms to make this University more inclusive and more honest about its history. The committee and the board, however, left Wilson’s name on the School and the College.
The board reconsidered these conclusions this month as the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Rayshard Brooks drew renewed attention to the long and damaging history of racism in America. Board Chair Weezie Sams ’79 and I spoke individually to members of the board, and it then met on June 26.
The board continues to respect, as do I, the Wilson Legacy Review Committee’s process and report, including its description of Wilson’s historical record and its “presumption that names adopted by the trustees after full and thoughtful deliberation … will remain in place, especially when the original reasons for adopting the names remain valid.” The board nevertheless concluded that the presumption should yield in this case because of considerations specific to Wilson’s racist policies and to how his name shapes the identities of the School and the College.
Wilson’s racism was significant and consequential even by the standards of his own time. He segregated the federal civil service after it had been racially integrated for decades, thereby taking America backward in its pursuit of justice. He not only acquiesced in but added to the persistent practice of racism in this country, a practice that continues to do harm today.
Wilson’s segregationist policies make him an especially inappropriate namesake for a public policy school. When a university names a school of public policy for a political leader, it inevitably suggests that the honoree is a model for students who study at the school. This searing moment in American history has made clear that Wilson’s racism disqualifies him from that role. In a nation that continues to struggle with racism, this University and its school of public and international affairs must stand clearly and firmly for equality and justice. The School will now be known as “The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.”
The University had already planned to close Wilson College and retire its name after opening two new residential colleges currently under construction. Rather than ask students in the College to identify with the name of a racist president for the next two years, the University will accelerate retirement of the name. The College will instead be known as “First College” in recognition of its status as the first of the residential colleges that now play an essential role in the residential life of all Princeton undergraduates.
These conclusions may seem harsh to some. Wilson remade Princeton, converting it from a sleepy college into a great research university. Many of the virtues that distinguish Princeton today—including its research excellence and its preceptorial system—were in significant part the result of Wilson’s leadership. He went on to the American presidency and received a Nobel Prize. People will differ about how to weigh Wilson’s achievements and failures. Part of our responsibility as a University is to preserve Wilson’s record in all of its considerable complexity.
Wilson is a different figure from, say, John C. Calhoun or Robert E. Lee, whose fame derives from their defenses of the Confederacy and slavery (Lee was often honored for the very purpose of expressing sympathy for segregation and opposition to racial equality). Princeton honored Wilson not because of, but without regard to or perhaps even in ignorance of, his racism.
Yet somehow in their statement, Princeton comes across as acknowledging the inherent racism of Wilson but still trying to salvage part of his reputation in honor of his work with the school.
While the lamestream media continuously links Donald Trump to racist organizations with no evidence, and accuses him of using "dog whistle" rhetoric, Woodrow Wilson was the real deal indeed.
An article by VOX points out that he was a loud and proud sympathizer of the KKK"
Wilson was governor of New Jersey when he became president in 1913, but he had been born in Virginia and raised in Georgia and South Carolina. He was, historian William Keylor notes, the first Southerner elected to the presidency since Zachary Taylor in 1848. Southern racists, accordingly, rejoiced his election. "Washington was flooded with revelers from the Old Confederacy, whose people had long dreamed of a return to the glory days of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, when southern gentlemen ran the country," Keylor writes. "Rebel yells and the strains of 'Dixie' reverberated throughout the city."
Wilson himself was the descendant of Confederate soldiers, and identified deeply with the "Lost Cause" narrative, according to which the Confederacy was a government of noble men trying to preserve a decent agrarian way of life against crude Northern industrialists, rather than a separatist movement premised on white supremacy. Historian Wesley Moody describes Wilson's most famous book as an academic, A History of the American People, as "steeped in Lost Cause mythology." The book was generally sympathetic to the Ku Klux Klan, describing them as "men half outlawed, denied the suffrage, without hope of justice in the courts, who meant to take this means to make their will felt." ("This means" being violence and intimidation against black people.) The following quote from the book even made its way into The Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith's infamous feature valorizing the Ku Klux Klan as saviors of the South: 'The white men of the South were aroused by the mere instinct of self-preservation to rid themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant negroes and conducted in the interest of adventurers.'
Still, down the slippery slope we go.
While Wilson's views were despicable, we must still remember that you cannot change history by erasing evidence of it.
There are lessons to learn from every prominent figure.
But let's face it, Wilson's resume sucked: